These Perfect Snickerdoodle Cookies Are The Only Recipe You Need (2024)

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Ingredients Directions

In my opinion, snickerdoodles are an underrated cookie, often overlooked by the chocolate chip cookies of the world. Soft, chewy and somehow impossibly light, snickerdoodles are born from a sugar cookie coated in cinnamon sugar and baked into a puffy, crackly cookie with a signature tang (thanks, cream of tartar) that just can’t be replicated. Ready to make a batch of these warm and cozy cookies for the Christmas season? There are a few things you should know:

How to make soft snickerdoodles:
What makes these snickerdoodles so good? They’re thick and substantial, but with an inside that is anything but dry. A lot of snickerdoodles turn out crispy or cakey, but these have my ideal cookie center: One that, when properly baked, is chewy with a bit of denseness to it that makes the bite oh so satisfying. Our secret for extra soft snickerdoodles? First, we slightly underbake our cookies to keep them from drying out. Cookies have a lot of carryover baking after coming out of the oven—you don’t want to risk overbaking them, so we slightly underbake to ensure they stay soft. Second, we don’t skip out on the key snickerdoodle ingredient: cream of tartar.

What does cream of tartar do?
Cream of tartar is the key to a classic snickerdoodle. It not only provides a little tang to the cookie, but it’s the best way to achieve a soft snickerdoodle. It’s a stabilizer that’s often used in meringues, lemon meringue pie, and other methods, like marshmallow frosting, that involve whipping egg whites to keep them sturdy.

Can I substitute cream of tartar?
I often see lemon juice and vinegar as substitutes for cream of tartar, but I don’t recommend that for these cookies. Lemon flavor isn’t really what you are looking for here, and neither will give quite the same chewiness as cream of tartar will. If you are really in a pinch for a substitute, I would replace both the baking soda and cream of tartar for 2 teaspoons baking powder. Baking powder is essentially baking soda and an acid, so it will give mostly the same texture as baking soda and cream of tartar together. Baking powder, however, won’t give you the tangy flavor that cream of tartar provides. All in all, I highly recommend using cream of tartar for the best snickerdoodle.

Can I make these ahead of time?
Snickerdoodles are great to prep ahead of time. The dough can be made the day before and kept in the refrigerator. After shaping the dough into balls, they can be frozen for up to 1 month. Let the dough thaw in the refrigerator before rolling in cinnamon sugar.

If you have any leftovers, the baked cookies can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Made this recipe? Let us know how it went in the comments below!

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Prep Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs


  • 3 c.

    (360 g.) all-purpose flour

  • 2 tsp.

    cream of tartar

  • 1 tsp.

    kosher salt

  • 3/4 tsp.

    baking soda

  • 1 c.

    (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1 1/2 c.

    (300 g.) granulated sugar, divided

  • 2

    large eggs

  • 1 tsp.

    pure vanilla extract

  • 1 tbsp.

    ground cinnamon


    1. Step1In a medium bowl, whisk flour, cream of tartar, salt, and baking soda until combined. In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and 1 1/4 cups sugar until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating to blend after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Add dry ingredients and beat on low speed until just combined. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
    2. Step2Preheat oven to 350°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. In a small bowl, whisk cinnamon and remaining 1/4 cup sugar.
    3. Step3Using a medium cookie scoop (about 2 tablespoons), scoop dough and roll into balls. Toss balls in cinnamon sugar and arrange on prepared sheets, spacing 2" apart.
    4. Step4Bake cookies until puffed and edges are just set, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

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Makinze Gore

Senior Food Editor

Makinze is currently senior food editor at Delish, where she develops recipes, creates, and hosts recipe videos and is our current baking queen. She is our expert pie crimper, believes you should always have the ingredients for chocolate chip cookies on hand, and everyone needs to know a perfect roast chicken recipe.

These Perfect Snickerdoodle Cookies Are The Only Recipe You Need (2024)
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